I used to love animals. Alot. Then I realized it was a love-hate relationship, with me doing all the loving. For example...
A family friend got some pigs, and five year old me was very excited to go see them. I had my cutesy wutesy, teeny weeny rain boots on, and walked into their crib, The Mud Hole. I've blocked most of what happened on that traumatic day; I just know that my cutesy wutesy, teeny weeny rain boots got stuck in the manure. Then the pigs came running towards me and trampled me down...face down...in the manure. 'Screams' don't describe it. Years later my Mom ruptured her ear drum and I am convinced it traces back to that incident when my world was destroyed by pig poop.
My best friend had horses! What little girl doesn't love beautiful, magnificent horses? I was no exception, and longed with all that was in me to jump on the back of one and ride free across the world! I was doing just that...well...actually it was more like being led around the yard by an adult walking the horse, but when you are young and have an overactive imagination, it's practically the same thing. The wind was catching my hair gloriously and flinging it back as we galloped across the country, when my daydream came to an abrupt end due to the horse trying to bite my feet while I rode him. Then another horse they had bit me in the shoulder when I was kindly trying to give him an apple. I'm as sweet as horsefeed I guess.
When I was a teenager I got up the chutzpah to jump on another horse. I told the girl running the stable I had horse experience with my chin held high...I just forgot to mention the details. She didn't ask and let me ride outside the fenced area; just what I was hoping for! Visions of riding free across the world came back into my mind, and that horse must've been telepathic. In a second he was off! And I couldn't stop him. And it wasn't quite as magnificient as I had always dreamed. Cover your other ear Mom, it's the only one you have left!
Then there was that goat that showed me which of us was in charge; it wasn't me. I had a little boy I was watching at the time, and the ornery ol'e goat got loose. There was no retreat. I stood the little one up on the swing he had been joyously swinging on a second before, and blocked him with my body while Billy the kidd played with my legs with his horns. Then Paul Bunyan came to the rescue, yanked him up by his horns and threw him 2 miles away. *swoon* It was actually my brother, and he wrestled him back to his post, but whatever the case he was my hero that day.
After all my run-ins with big animals, I wasn't the least bit trepidatious when my parents informed me we would be getting some chickens for eggs. At last, an animal smaller than me. They were so cute! Fluffy little yellow chicks, aww. Turns out fluffy yellow chicks turn into big stinky chickens, and big stinky chickens like to keep the company of mean and cocky roosters. Mean and cocky roosters don't much like my kind. Then there were the eggs. ALL those eggs that my father insisted couldn't go to waste. And to think, I used to like egg salad...
It would seem from all my previous experiences with animals, I would be the last one to want a farm. And that's the truth. I had resigned myself to owning a few evil chickens for farm fresh eggs for my family on one condition: no roosters. Imagine my surprise then, when the Jarhead declared he would also like to have a few pigs and a cow. I'm down with cows. I worked at a dairy growing up. I've been knee deep in manure, had cow pee splash on me, and cracked the ice on water buckets when it's been way too cold outside. I've seen rat carcasses strewn in the dirt from barn cats, and I've pulled hay out of every article of clothing on my body. A cow I can handle, the bonus of which would be not having to worry about mowing the ridiculous amount of acreage we would like to purchase when we bid the Corps a farewell. But pigs? The internet assures me they are very friendly and very smart. *eye roll*
Yesterday I went out with some friends to a tourist attraction. They have chickens roaming free, goats you can walk, pigs you can feed, and water buffalo you can stare at. Here's me walking a goat. I wouldn't mind a little goat like this, unlike the massive Billy.
The roosters there weren't quite as plucky as the roosters we had. Maybe my ice-cold stare offered the intimidation I hoped.